Friday, May 31, 2013

Imagine-

Well, I am writing another Friday. I'm not sure the links will work , but I am going to try to post anyway. The writing prompt for today is IMAGINE. Love that word; it contains the ocean and the sky and all of the stars that we see and cannot see.

GO:
Humidity that sticks like a bee to honey.
Showers that stop their flow mid-lather because the generator ran out.

Smiles of whiteness set in ebony cheeks.

Dirt, and dust, sweat.....oh the sweat, a towel sops it off my body.

Round brown eyes with a glass reflection looking into mine with
curiosity and wonder.

Rare feelings of feeling the minority-being the minority.

Horns, blasts, motorcycles driving fast.
"Welcome" and more "welcome"s-
Imagine-I am in Liberia.


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Friday, May 24, 2013

Our View


 It's Friday-Yay! And it is time to write with the ladies from Lisa Jo Baker's blog. I was hoping that today's prompt could/would help me stream line some thoughts floating in my mind about meeting the people in Liberia. I think this prompt should help: VIEW.

GO:

Female Genital Mutilation. We Westerners deem the act "Mutilation."  The practitioners of it call it "female circumcision" or "female genital cutting." One only has to be aware of the actual procedure to be convinced that it is mutilation. (There are four common procedures, and though a cut of the hood of the clitoris is one of them-closer to an actual circumcision-this form is the one most rarely performed.)

My view is that is that it is an unnecessary heinous act. But, as in all subjects, there are other points of view. I have studied why some women consider this procedure paramount to being a true, notable woman. I have spoken (in America) to victims whose family members had irreperable consequences becasue of it (death in one family). 

I have also learned that  my ways are not their cultural ways. When FGM is mentioned, they speak of colonialism-what we Americans learn about from yellowing pages in History class, then let the subject lie between the pages. They speak of imperialism and capitalism and consumerism as affecting their cultures. At first, I am stunned and confused about the relation of these all-encompassing subjects that I have only known the affluent benefits from. I didn't know their was another view, and therein lies my arrogant American view.

So when I arrive in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, Wednesday evening, I purpose to wear a view of humility that will listen and learn. I want to learn others' views that I may learn more of them. I will not push my view on them.

Is there some subject or situation that you are convinced that you are convinced is the correct view? Have you considered there may be another one?

To learn more of the history of Liberia refer to LOV's "Make a Difference" page.

To learn more about FGM visit the WHO page here.


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Friday, May 17, 2013

Sing Your Song


Have been hungering to write...but bills and getting my chidren's homeschool portfolios ready for their annual evaluations got in the way. But life-stuff always gets in the way and sometimes it's good, like yesterday, when my daughter covered me with hugs and noisy, "mmoiuu" kisses as I headed out the door. I drove north five hours through Pennsylvania's rounded mountain tops and along New York's Finger Lake (I do not know which one, but that did not keep me from inhaling its beauty) to Seneca Falls- I will visit the Women's National Park where the First Women's Convention was held. Thank Elizabeth Cady-Stanton and many other brave women for your right to vote Ladies. Later, I will be heading to spend some time with the Zackey family to discuss the Liberia trip.  To gain further understanding about the travesty that affects Liberia visit the "Make a Difference" page; the button on is the right side bar, scroll down and you will find some information about the Zackeys work.

Right NOW, I want to continue my good-habit of typing words with the ladies at Five Minute Fridays at Lisa-Jo Baker blog. We punch the keyboard for five too-short minutes, a stream-of-consciousness comes through and sometimes I, myself, am surprised at the thoguhts formed on this screen.

Today's propmt- SONG
GO:
We are always usually wishing for what we do not have, and as I include myself, I would say that I want to (be able) to sing! Actually, I do not think my voice is offensive to the ears, on the contrary, I would consider it averagely pleasant. BUT, my family and children are always telling me otherwise! "Mom! please don't sing!" Good for me that the Lord appreciates a joyful noise.

Improve Your Singing
Singing is not one of my gifts. I cannot change that. No amount of lessons or practice would make me into a singer-star. But I am thinking that there is something that I can direct: the SONG that I sing.

We all have songs. Some of us choose the whiny-song to which ears close. Others sing the song of martydom. There are songs of complaint, anger, frustration. After listening to those songs, I hear myself singing the same tune.

We choose our SONG. We can consciously choose to sing a song of joy, of gratitude, of hope-even if we don't fell like singing.

If we sing those songs, maybe our thoughts and emotions will rise to the words, and, maybe-just maybe, the world will sing with us.

I leave you with a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite songs-no, I am not singing it!
Enjoy-
http://clarrissegill.com/videoclips/amazing_grace.php

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Comfort those . . .


Writing today with the ladies linking at  Lisa-Jo Baker's blog. Her prompt is COMFORT.

What other word conjures up warm feelings of security, safeness, deep down joy and contentment?
A few of us privileged in this world experience true comfort-

But what about  the little boy with a runny nose that has no Mother to gently wipe it for him?
Or the little girl who just scraped her knee when playing jump rope and no one is there to kiss it?
I wonder where and how the orphans experience comfort, if they even know what comfort is?

What of the teen boys who have made a family of themselves, all packed into a 10' by10' room, sleeping without mattresses using each other's bodies for pillows?

Or the woman banished from her people because a stranger violently ravaged her body? She is lost and broken.

I wonder if I will meet some of these that are in so need of comfort. On May 29th, I will be traveling to Monrovia, Liberia. The plan is to visit several orphanages and interview women who have been victims of rape, Human trafficking, or undergone FGM. (If you do not know what that is or want to learn more, read here FGM .)

I ask myself what comfort I could possibly offer them? I only pray that I may lead them to the One Who is Comforter.

I covet your prayers for this trip-safety, wisdom, good connections, open doors, and comfort for the oppressed. Please consider marking your calendar-May 29th through June 11th-to be consciously praying. Thank you.

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Being Brave


It's Friday and I am linking up with the Ladies from Lisa-Jo Baker's blog. We like to write. And I like that I write just five minutes-stream of conscious-and I have a blog post. Otherwise . . .

Please forgive me for touting myself today, besides the glorious, long-awaited sun shining on the lilac blossoms ready-to-burst and the cool breeze floating through the window as I write stirring up all natural jubilation, I have something  else on my mind and it is sure to show itself as I write.

GO: BRAVE.
 
When the path is before you, but the way darkened, and the only step before you is the one illuminated- You must be BRAVE.

The act of bravery is a relationship: one of believing and one of acting upon.

Twenty months ago, I entered the college classroom. I was not "going back" to school, rather "going" to school. For twenty years I have been raising my wee ones, placing them on the path to adulthood, now I was about to step onto a diverging path. I was not sure if I could  make it through one semester. But with faith, grace, and a lot of  encouragement from family-and patience because of eating too many take-out meals, I am able to finish and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, History, and Women's Studies. The theme of my LAS degree is "The Influence of Women Upon Culture." Fast and furious-sometimes my motto.

Graduation is tomorrow. Can you read my big smile?

Another path is before me-In four weeks I am traveling to Liberia, Africa. My actual goal is hazy; I just know that I want to spend time working in orphanages and will have the opportunity to interview women who have been victims of rape, H.T., and FGM. Honestly, though I have traveled internationally, I have never been to a country still feeling the destruction of a civil war that ended just ten years ago. And if one googles "Liberia," enough stories will appear to wreak havoc on your dream matter. But I feel compelled to go.
I believe it is part of  His plan and I am taking the step forward.
I am being brave.

All by grace,
Nicol
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